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How to Make a Paper Mache Hot Air Balloon

Updated on April 29, 2014

Paper mache is fun!

Hot air balloons are fun to ride in, their colorful display is lovely to watch and make exceptionally pretty photographs.

Have you ever wondered if you could capture the beauty of these hot air balloons in another way? Well, you can, and I am pleased to share this information with you.

For this project you will need a bit of time (a weekend should be enough).

Mums, dads or older brothers or sisters should be on hand to help young children build these hot air balloons with paper mache. It's fun and teaches the young patience and flexibility.

I will walk you through the process step by step.

Let's do it!

Photo Credit

This lens won a purple star!

How To Make a Paper Mache Hot Air Balloon

The Purple Star Program!

According to the Purple Star Program,

purple stars are awarded to Lenses that are:

* Masterpiece lenses.

* Lenses making a name for themselves.

* Lenses trying new things.

Thank you SquidTeam and all of those who helped make this happen!

What an honor! Thank you!

~ LaraineRose

Are you a crafty person?

I have always wanted to make things with my hands. I knit, crochet, sew, etc. etc. but I think that creating the paper mache hot air balloons was my favorite project.

I have sold some but most of them I have given away to new-born babies for their room decorations. I wouldn't recommend that babies or the young be allowed to play with them, but you may do as you please.

Have you ever made paper mache anything? If you did, please tell us what you made.

See results

Get in the mood - Listen to - Hot Air Balloons

Of course you'll need balloons!

Amazon has a good selection but I'll let you see my favorite.

These are strong balloons and shouldn't break before your project is finished. Then you can have the pleasure of popping it.

You'll notice that there are a lot of balloons in each package so you can make a lot of paper mache hot-air balloons. :)

My Paper Mache Paste:

There are many recipes for paste, but here is the one I use.

  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 10 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  1. To the bowl add:
  2. ~1 cup white flour and a pinch salt to bowl
  3. ~1 cup cold water
  4. Whisk to a syrup consistency.
  5. ~ add a little cinnamon to the mix - it takes away the smell.
  6. ~ add salt to keep it from fermenting.
  7. ~ Humidity really does play a factor! If you live somewhere very humid, add less water (up to 1/4 less). I live in a very dry area.
  8. ~ Rather than make your own paste for paper mache, use liquid starch. It can be purchased at the supermarket and is relatively inexpensive. It gives the same result as the cooked method. It dries smooth and clear. Fantastic for use with brown grocery bags when I want to create pottery or leather looking crafts.
Cast your vote for Let's Get Started

No cook paper mache paste. - Easy to do!

Now the fun starts!

Hot Air Balloons by LaraineRose
Hot Air Balloons by LaraineRose

Photo Credit

1. Tear newspaper into strips

2. Blow up your balloon

3. Soak paper strip by strip into the paste and start layering it onto your balloon.

4. When you have a mache depth of no more than 4 layers, rest the balloon on a sealer jar to dry.

(Your mache balloon will probably dry over-night if done during summer months.)

When your balloon is absolutely dry it is time to become creative.

HINT:

Always make the last layer of mache with white computer paper. It takes FAR less paint. If you don't do this, consider priming the project with white acrylic paint before you let the kids at it with the poster paints.

The Basket

Basket
Basket

Photo Credit

You can make your own basket out of a square box painted to your desired color or buy a small woven basket. (I have done some of each for my hot air balloons.)

Some boxes and guides for more paper mache crafts

Darice 4/5/6-Inch Paper Mache Round Box
Darice 4/5/6-Inch Paper Mache Round Box

These boxes would be good to use for the basket part of your hot air balloons. Just paint them up and they are ready to be used.

 
Papier-Mache for Kids
Papier-Mache for Kids

I think that this would be a wonderful book for parents to have on hand. Your children can learn how to make paper mache pigs, dogs, cats, flowers, masks and even monsters. What fun they will have!!

 
Papier-Mache Treasures with Teena Flanner: Creating Your Own Vintage-Style Collectibles
Papier-Mache Treasures with Teena Flanner: Creating Your Own Vintage-Style Collectibles

Learn how a pro makes vintage-inspired papier-mâché figures, You too can learn this form of art. It is not a new art form but it has withstood the test of time and is still here for us to enjoy!

 

Stringing your ribbons or ties

Materials:

~2 length of cord 2 feet

~1 length of cord 1 1/2 feet.

Instructions:

Using a darning needle, carefully make four equally placed holes around the bottom of your balloon and two equally place holes near the top of your balloon. (This may be done before you spend time painting the balloon if you are anxious that you might crack the balloon. I've never had any problem.)

A Bit of Fun (Remember the balloon you blew up. Now you can pop it if you like.)

On the bottom of the balloon feed one length of ribbon or cord (whatever you have decided to use) through two holes with a crochet hook. Tie both ends to the basket. (Repeat this procedure with the other ribbon making sure they are balanced with each other.)

Feed the ribbon for the top of the balloon in the same manner, tying at the top.

American Crafts Solid Satin Ribbon Value Pack 24 1-Yard Spools, Color Set 1
American Crafts Solid Satin Ribbon Value Pack 24 1-Yard Spools, Color Set 1

These are the ribbons I would use if they shipped to Canada.This is a very good deal!

 
Femitu Polka Dot Grosgrain Ribbon-16 Colors of 3/8"
Femitu Polka Dot Grosgrain Ribbon-16 Colors of 3/8"

I purchased this ribbon and I will be buying it again when I need more!Very good quality!

 

Passenger List: - Only limited by your imagination!

THINGS TO ADD:

I have added teddy bears, paper mache clowns, ribbons, small flowers and bouquets.

Here are a few suggestions as to what/who you may add to your passenger list:

Favorite action figures, puppies, kittens, fairies or movie stars.

I am sure you can think of a lot more.

NOW, HANG IT AND ENJOY YOUR HANDY WORK!

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons by Nicolas Raymond

Up, Up and Away - My Beautiful Balloons

Fun with my hot air balloons - Photos courtesy of Will Borden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Around the World in 80 DaysA Honeymoon RideUp, Up and AwayWind Beneath My Wings
Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days
A Honeymoon Ride
A Honeymoon Ride
Up, Up and Away
Up, Up and Away
Wind Beneath My Wings
Wind Beneath My Wings

What is Paper Mache Pulp?

This is great to help make a smooth finish on your paper mache projects or for making small objects.

See beautiful gifts made from paper mache

More Paper Mache Projects to Make

Some for adults, some for kids

If you are looking for inspiration and instructions for making a paper mache project, gifts, art and decorations check out all of these paper mache ideas.

Paper Mache Globe - Make your own globe of the Earth from a balloon covered with newspaper, flour-water glue, and paint. Although this is a messy project that takes days to complete, the results are very nice and teach a tremendous amount about geography.

Paper Mache Puppet

Big Paper Mache Bird - This rather large paper mache bird makes a great friend or a rather nifty pinata.

Paper Mache Ladybug

Paper Mache Masks - Make your own Paper Mache Mask with Elastic string; Scissors; aluminum foil (heavy duty); Wallpaper paste; Old newspapers; Variety of poster paints; Paint brush 2-4" or larger.

Make a Dinosaur Hat

Paper Mache Octopus Hang this from the ceiling to add to a cute ocean-theme bedroom.

Piggy Bank This is such a cute piggy bank. A very useful craft!

Scary Spider

Paper mache Sculpture - Turn a 10 cent yard sale figuine into a masterpiece worth a million!

Image Credit

I had fun with this project. Do you think that you will some day try to make one of these hot air balloons?

I will be most pleased if you leave me a comment!

Hope you liked this lens!

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    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 3 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MVKilgore: It really is a fun project! Enjoy!

    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 3 years ago

      Neat, my crafty youngsters would love this.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 3 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @favored: It is really a fun project for the whole family. I used to make them for baby shower gifts .. I haven't made any recently but have kept some back for extra special someones. I hope that you find another to enjoy this project with you.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      This is something that I'd enjoy doing. Now if I can get some takers to do it with me :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 3 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @sha-ron: So much fun too!

    • sha-ron profile image

      sha-ron 3 years ago

      What a novel idea and great for children to make and share with each other

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      What fun! Great instructions and I might have to try to make a Paper Mache Hot Air Balloon. Thanks

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Thank you to all those who have commented and "liked" this lens. I have been busy with another project and will soon be back to writing.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 4 years ago

      OHHH my gosh how CUTE is this! I love it. It feels like an adventure of the heart that I must take. Great lens and I so enjoyed my visit.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      Pinned to my board crafts I love because I truly do love it. I have done tons of papier mache with my kids. Thorough lens - perfect crafts lens. Blessed.

    • Allison Whitehead profile image

      Allison Whitehead 4 years ago

      Wonderful lens - and a great activity to do with kids (any excuse! lol)

    • mechanicaleye profile image

      Eda Ċ kulj 4 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegvina

      I'd like to try, but I'm afraid I might mess something up. Regardless, I really really want to make one! :)

      Love your lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Returning to marvel once again at this beauty, I haven't done paper mache for years but I'm guessing there are now many sweet little paper mache hot air balloons that have been made after folks visited here. The video on paper mache gifts is amazing fun....I'm adding some fresh angel dust to your recipe.

    • WBJanitorial LM profile image

      WBJanitorial LM 4 years ago

      Absolutely going to try this. There are many great projects on your lens....perfect for me and the youngest to work on together. Thank you very much!

    • ShineRita profile image

      ShineRita 4 years ago

      So cute ideas.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Oh wow! I would love to craft a colorful paper mache hot air balloon and hang it like an artistic mobile in my Florida room. Pretty cool page my dear! Up Up and Away!!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      These are so cute, what a fun paper craft idea. Love it.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      What fun!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Will try to make these paper mache hot air balloons. Great gift idea!

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I want to do some other projects with paper mache. This lens has inspired me even though I will probably not make a hot-air balloon.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
      Author

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @tvyps: You are too funny! :) Thank you for blessing this lens.

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Probably not, but I have a lot of hot air that would help someone who does! ha! Blessed.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
      Author

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Mamaboo LM: I'm so happy that you like this. It is soo much fun to make and your girls will, no doubt, cherish the time spent with you on this project and the end product also.

      Thank you for visiting and blessing this lens.

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 5 years ago

      This is soooooo cool...We homeschool and I can't wait to have my girls try this! Thanks so much and be blessed!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WillBorden: So nice to see you here! Thank you for your support, Will.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
      Author

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WriterJanis2: I'm so pleased that you like it. I have so much fun making them I hope that you will too!

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      This looks like a lovely, fun activity to do with the kids.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @DecoratingMom411: They will love it!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Melissa Miotke: I'm sure you will enjoy the results!

    • profile image

      WillBorden 5 years ago

      Hi Laraine~~a fantastic craft lens and beautifully presented! Fun for the whole family, and the finished product will last for many years to come! Everyone likes hot air balloons and the good feelings they engender, so thank you very much for sharing the steps on how to make one!! Happy ballooning~~ Will

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      What a fun craft idea. Blessed!

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      These are so cool! I'm looking forward to giving this a try:)

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TamarWrites: Have fun!

    • profile image

      TamarWrites 5 years ago

      I love to craft with my kids. This looks like something they would enjoy making.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @BuckHawkcenter: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @piedromolinero: Great! Email me a picture of the finished project. Please.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @suzy-t: It is a lasting gift that I'm sure that she will treasure even as she grows older.

      Thank you for the blessing and your support.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Tonto Murray: I'd love to see a photo of it when you are finished. Contact me if you'd like to.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SheGetsCreative: I like to use hot water paste. Some people use paste purchased from the market so they don't use the cinnamon. I think that I still would use it as it does make the room smell nice. Thank you for visiting, commenting and, of course, the blessing!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @WeirdStuff: Thank you for your visit and support.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      What a great idea and how adorable yours turned out. I can't imagine a cuter gift for new parents.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @mariaamoroso: That would be great! Thank you for visiting - I'll be visiting you soon.

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      This is a great idea. My daughter loves hot air balloons and she loves doing crafts. I am sure she will love this idea.

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      Luv this project. I am going to make one to put in my niece's balloon themed nursery. Blessed and pinned to my Squid Angel Board.

    • Tonto Murray profile image

      Tonto Murray 5 years ago

      Very cool unique idea. I am going to see if my youngest daughter wants to try this together. Blessings.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      fun project - love the addition of cinnamon to mask the smell. *blessed

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 5 years ago

      Great idea. Nice and simple :)

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      This is soooo nice! Congrats to the front page feature. One day I am sure you will both build and then go up up up in your hot air balloon

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @SheilaMilne: It would make a good project for a child. It does teach them patience as they will have to wait for it to dry in various stages before they can carry on with the next step. They have to figure out how to get the ribbons placed so that everything hangs straight also. It will be fun .. wish I were there to help out! Have fun!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: What a lovely idea. I'm sure that she will love it!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @orawansc: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I'll bet the objects were adorable. Children have such keen imaginations .. I'm wondering if some were unrecognizable.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @HtCares: Thank you for viewing and commenting!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @sanchanps: Thank you - fun to make too!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @mysweetjane lm: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @JoyfulReviewer: Thank you for your comment and blessing. Yes, it was a lot of fun!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MillBucks: If you use PVA glue you won't need the cinnamon or you may want to add it so that your room smells nice.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Rymom28: Easy to do. I just figured it out as I went.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Okay.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @pawpaw911: So happy to see you here. I'm glad you like it!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MohkaUK LM: Great!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @TeakShowerBenches: Thank you for visiting!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @MomwithAHook LM: Very innovative! You obviously enjoyed it or you wouldn't have remembered that!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @wimzey: Thank you for your visit!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @latiptop: It is .. I hope that you have a chance to try it.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @athomemomblog: That is a great idea. I'd love to see a picture of the room when you are done. Make sure you take a lot of pictures and show us on a lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @KevCooper: Yes, the glue does work well and not very expensive.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      When my granddaughter is just a little older we'll be doing this without fail. I can't wait!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this lens. I think a paper mache balloon would look great in my grand-daughter's bedroom. She's about to be a year old. I believe I will make one for her birthday.

    • profile image

      orawansc 5 years ago

      lovely idea

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I once did a paper mache project with 36 kindergarten students! Whew! Luckily we had lots of help. The children LOVED it!

    • HtCares profile image

      HtCares 5 years ago

      What a cute and fun project. The balloons are adorable!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It looks very nice

      rao vat mien phi

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      sanchanps 5 years ago

      It looks very nice, cute hot air balloons:)

      http://www.ccchinachic.com/

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 5 years ago

      what a cute lens!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      What a creative craft idea ... looks like a lot of fun. Instructions and pictures nicely presented. ~~Blessed~~

    • MillBucks profile image

      MillBucks 5 years ago

      Thanks for this great idea, I never thought of adding cinnamon to mask the smell. Great job on this page!

    • Rymom28 profile image

      Rymom28 5 years ago

      Wow, impressive!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Will think about it at least.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Very cute craft idea. I like it.

    • MohkaUK LM profile image

      MohkaUK LM 5 years ago

      Now I read more I really want to try it!

    • TeakShowerBenches profile image

      TeakShowerBenches 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Close2Art LM: Thank you for your encouragement and blessing!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @intermarks: It was fun! I'm sure children will love to make them.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks⦠very interesting

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 5 years ago from California

      These look so fun. I remember doing paper Mache when I was a little girl. We didn't have the round balloons though - we made it with the long ones and made them into boats.

    • wimzey profile image

      wimzey 5 years ago

      So interesting. Thanks

    • latiptop profile image

      latiptop 5 years ago

      Looks like fun!!:)

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 5 years ago from Guatemala

      I love this project! I can totally see it in my boys' room to decorate. They already have blue walls, so maybe some clouds and hot air balloons are in order.

    • KevCooper profile image

      KevCooper 5 years ago

      Paper mache is cheap and very versatile, I tend to use PVA glue in my work so no need for the cinnamon. Good lens.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      very fun and creative page , love it, Angel Blessed

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      This is just so creative and nice. Kids will definitely like it very much.

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Thank you!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: I have a couple of the paper mache balloons hanging in my office and on a warm day the cinnamon smell is pleasant.

      Thank you for your visit, advertising for me on FB, your gracious comments and for blessing this lens. Thank you very much!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @anonymous: Oh, nice!

    • LaraineRoses profile image
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      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      @Sylvestermouse: I wish that I could be there to watch you. You will have fun .. that I know for sure!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Forgot to let you know I shouted on FB.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Absolutely delightfully done and bright and happy as can be. I sure was curious about the reason for the cinnamon, paper mache does have an odor of its own and it sounds like it doesn't take much cinnamon for the cure. Congratulations on home page honors!